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Biofuels - What Can You Do?

Apr 11, 2008
One of the best things about biomass is that everyone makes their own literally and everyone can potentially put it to greater use.

On a Personal Scale
A quick search of the web will turn up hundreds of resources on personal-scale biomass energy, including information on products, procedures, energy loans, tax incentives, sources, energy providers and other important data. Here are some things you can do.

* Manufacture your own biodiesel. That's right. Using common feedstock, anyone in the U.S. can make a gallon of biodiesel for less than a buck. Where do you get feedstock? One common source is restaurants, which have gallons of used vegetable oils they have to dispose of anyway. There are many other sources. With a biodiesel manufacturing setup you can make enough biodiesel to run your car (say, 10 gallons per week) on about %5 to $7 per week, $300 to $400 a year. Buy a brand new diesel car, Volkswagen, for instance, promotes all of its diesels as biofriendly, and stop lining the pockets of the price-gouging, earth-raping, water-polluting oil companies (and you know who they are).

* Buy a diesel vehicle and run it with biodiesel or, at minumum, B20. Better yet, watch for the diesel/electric hybrids that manufacturers have been developing.

On a Community/Regional Scale

* Just because you don't have any local biofuel makers nearby doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Biofuel is no longer a 'fringe' product, so with a little research and an investment in human energy you can probably convince your town, or your school system, or a group of people interested in forming a cooperative, to do something along these lines:

* Thanks to pressure to "clean up its act," a public utility in the state of New Hampshire converted a 50-megawatt power plant that had previously been run on coal to on now operating entirely on wood chips as a feedstock. Rather than burning130,000 tons of coal each year, it now uses 400,000 tons of wood scrap from local resources, and emits just a quarter of the NOX and only 2 percent of the SO2 previously pouring into the air.

* The Portland, Oregon, school system has long been a staunch supporter of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle way of life. Now the schools system has convinced the local division of the largest waste hauler in the U.S. Waste Management, Inc., to run its fleet on B20 biodiesel.
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